Tom takes BBC crown

Second victory for 22-year-old actor

Tom Allen, a 22-year-old actor, has won this year’s BBC New Talent stand-up competition.

He took the £2,000 prize at London’s Comedy Store last night,  and will now be given the chance to write for a radio comedy show.

Runners-up were Sarah Millican and Ed Aczel, who each receive £500.

Allen, who trained as an actor with the National Youth Theatre, also won this year’s So You Think You’re Funny competition at the Edinburgh festival. Millican also came second in that contest.

Allen said: ‘It's been a really wonderful experience; I've met some genuinely brilliant people and it's fantastic to do something with the BBC. My mother is beside herself.’

Judge Paul Schlesinger, head of BBC radio  light entertainment, said: ‘The finalists were all very different and all very good in their own way. All were original acts but Tom in particular showed enormous wit and storytelling ability.’

Around 400 audition tapes were submitted to the competition, and  the best 150 were then whittled down over nine regional heats. The other finalists were Aaron Counter, Luke Roberts and James Branch.

The final, hosted by Dara O'Briain, will be broadcast on digital radio station BBC 7 on Friday January 6, at 11pm.

O'Briain, said: ‘They were all performing at a depressingly high level. Some of them will be taking gigs off me in the future, no doubt about it.’

Last night’s judges also included comedian Mark Steel, BBC executives Jon Plowman, Caroline Raphael and Comedy Store owner Don Ward


Published: 13 Dec 2005

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